How I became a Business Analyst from a developer role

Sanchita Chowdhury Blog

Recently, I’ve seen many developers moving to Business Analyst roles, just like I did.

For many, it happens as part of an overall transformation of the role they’re working in. For example, a developer is sent to a client site and assigned to both tasks of gathering and development. So typically speaking, come the next project, the person is offered the Business Analysis role by the company, given their experience.

For me it wasn’t like that – I didn’t set out to be an IT Business Analyst.

I was selected for my first job from my engineering university campus , in India, by a multinational company as a programmer. Just when I started loving and settling into development, I was moved to a testing project. However, my love for software development was very strong and I decided to take another job which allowed me to develop my programming skills.

The change didn’t give me much of a salary hike, but it did give me strong experience in Java technology and inspired me to be more engaged in business development.

After three years I moved to another company, still in a technical role but I had a plan. Here I’d aim to do a part-time MBA with a desire to move out of IT.

Everything was going smoothly until my husband informed me there was an opportunity for him to take a long-term project in the UK. He wanted the role but wouldn’t take it unless I joined him in the UK. This made me feel unsettled, as I had already been staying in India on my own for the last two years, I was unsure of the job market in the UK.

However, I finally decided to fulfil my longtime dream of completing an MBA and joined him in the UK, to do an executive MBA in global business, with a plan to look beyond IT.

“Leave IT – why? It’s one of the best-paid sectors.”

This was what most of my MBA friends said.

But to me, it was quite simple. One of my IT retail projects made me aware of how little the IT developers know about business changes which impact their work. To me, development seemed to be just a tool to solve a problem without understanding the causes. I decided I wanted to be part of the business first and all that it entails.

But I soon realised getting a job in an unknown discipline, in a foreign country and without any previous experience is not as easy as I’d thought. Whereas IT was still waving at me, showing me the paths to earn money, pay my education loan and finally have some mental peace.

So my husband’s reference came handy as I bagged my first post-MBA job with the designation of Business Analyst at my previous employer and the journey started.

Every experience as a BA made me realise I was in my comfort zone of IT, yet doing something which drove IT changes, is an achievement in itself. I also understood the meaning of a work/life balance, which isn’t just giving time to my family, but also giving time to myself.

I believe certain job roles can give wonderful career progression, but might not give me the considered pace that I need at this age. Now I know not only where I want to reach, but also how and when I’ll achieve this. Driving myself to reach my destiny by myself, I hope.